Goggle Places key to strong local SEO strategies

The industry of local SEO changed massively in 2010. We have seen the introduction and growth of Google Places, Google Instant, and Google Preview, etc. Many of these changes have been keeping local SEO orientated webmasters busy updating their websites so they don’t lose customers or business as a result of all these changes.

One thing I wouldn’t like to bet against is Google Places becoming a lot more competitive and dominant. Google seem to have focused on this strongly through the second half of 2010. The SERP has in my opinion become a lot more relevant, it gives you chance to find good information, whether it be a news feed, a blog post, local business listing or a natural organic result.

The last big PageRank update was in April 2010. This is one of the longest periods (as far as I can remember) that it has not been updated in. This gives me the impression that Google could be changing or may have changed its ranking algorithm to place a lower importance on the number of inbound links your site requires for ranking in Google Places.

I would say that your location and content/service you provide are becoming more important than link building. Google has now even introduced reviews for local businesses. Not only does Goggle Places allow you to review businesses using Google, it also picks up reviews from big review websites. Having positive reviews could become as important as having good backlinks.

Whatever the case it is clearly becoming more important that you have a well-designed ranking strategy for Google Places. Businesses wise enough to figure out how to stay ranked on the ever-changing Google landscape will be the ones with the most powerful local SEO.

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